Royale treatment – Kir Royale
Move over Negronis, there’s a new cocktail trending – the Kir Royale.
Combining champagne with crème de cassis (a blackcurrant liqueur), Kir Royale is simple and chic.
After featuring on Netflix hit Emily In Paris, the French cocktail has fast become a go-to summer drink. And its name and celebratory feel made it a natural accompaniment to events closer to home too, with limited edition versions created to mark the King’s Coronation.
For drinkers daunted by the cost or taste of the champagne, different mixers work just as well. Prosecco or English sparkling wine create the same sparkle – it’s the blackcurrant and bubbles that are key.
Alternatively, though, the Kir Imperial swaps the blackcurrant for raspberry to create a softer, rose-coloured cocktail, while using damson liqueur or a rhubarb and rose mixer will give a British twist.
British brands have moved quickly on this cocktail trend, with SKNY Cocktails launching a Kir Royale RTD – affordable, convenient, but bouji too.
Kir Royale’s newfound popularity has elevated cassis’s status too, seeing the liqueur used in gin, bourbon and tequila cocktails.
New Heights – Whisky Highball
For a sharper-tasting cocktail with the same simplicity, drinkers are also turning to the Whisky Highball this summer.
This easy but delicious cocktail combines whisky with soda over plenty of ice, prioritising flavour and refreshment.
Some mixologists are swapping the soda for tonic and citrus garnishes, while ginger ale also works as a mixer. For extra oomph, beer, banana, cinnamon and over-the-top garnishes can add to the fizz and flavour, too.
Given the various fruits and botanicals that complement or enhance whisky’s flavours – spices, citruses and tropical fruits alike – a vast range of extras can give the simple Whisky Highball a sensory boost.
The growing popularity of dark spirits has supported this cocktail’s resurgence, as has an interest in Japanese culture and cuisine after the Whisky Highball became trendy there. With such a simple recipe, too, it suits those seeking low ABV, low cost or low sugar cocktails.
New launches – alcoholic drinks
Another dark spirit enjoying a sales boost is dark rum. The wider rum category is already up by 83.5% this year, according to a recent report from online retailers Master of Malt, and dark rum is key to this. Trade sales are up by 111% and there’s been a 22.2% rise in retail sales in the first quarter of 2023.
Flavoured rums continue to muscle into this market too. Bacardi has introduced a new Mango Chile rum – drawing on trends for tropical fruit flavourings and spicy extras it is sprinkled with Tajin seasoning. Similarly, Sazerac has launched Mango Shotta – combining mango, jalapeno, and tequila – inspired by Mexican mangonada.
Actors Brad Pitt and Emma Watson have each launched their own lines of gin. Both are French-inspired, with Watson’s using grapes upcycled from French wine pressing, alongside other botanicals, while Pitt’s was debuted at Cannes Film Festival and features citruses from the South of France.
New vodka launches include Wild Berri from Absolut, and a sustainable Raspberry & Hibiscus from Sapling, made using ‘rejected’ raspberries.
For unique cocktails with aesthetic appeal, blue cocktails are back in vogue. No longer seen as tacky, these vibrant creations are proving popular thanks to drinkers’ love of tropical drinks and nostalgic-feeling beverages.
Also suiting the kitsch and nostalgic drink trends is Vizzy’s new orange cream soda – a limited edition hard seltzer. In Thailand, Siam Winery has developed a low-calorie and low ABV alcoholic sparkling water, Zeltzer Fizz.
Get clued up on quick chilled coffee
Global sales of chilled coffees are tipped to take-off in the coming years.
To capitalise on increased interest, producers are investigating the different production methods for chilled coffees, using everything from ice to laser pulses to extract complex coffee flavours.
The flash brew method simply pours freshly brewed coffee over ice to draw out flavour, while compound chilling captures flavours by using cool objects to chill coffee immediately after brewing.
Snapchill uses an evaporator coil to cool coffee and create full flavours, while scientists in Germany are trialing using lasers to extract coffee 300 times faster than traditional cold brew.
More simply, the ‘Aerocano’ uses black coffee, ice, and a steam wand to aerate and cool the drink.
New launches of non-alcoholic drinks
Cool brews are being developed for tea lovers too. Twinings of London has launched a Tea Coolers Series with Macao Imperial Tea, featuring flavours including Earl Grey Lemon and Cheesecake Peach.
Cake-inspired drinks are popping up worldwide. In the UK, Heavenly Desserts has refreshed its mocktail menu, developing seltzers, lattes, and tonics to complement its desserts. In Japan, Sushiro has launched drinkable cake frappes, topped with chunks of cake to stir and dissolve into the drink.
In Australia Bickford’s new flavoured milks use classic McCormick’s Aeroplane Jelly flavours, while in the Philippines Bukidnon Milk Company has developed a pasteurized melon-flavoured milk.
A new US energy drink, TimsBoost Infusion, uses Red Bull with a range of flavours. Meanwhile, a new sports drink has been developed to give long-distance runners a fizz-free boost of caffeine and sugar. ‘Floda’ – a flat soda – is seeking to revolutionise how runners refuel.
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Image source: The Food People 2023